When I was in Edinburgh last year, I asked around for chocolate recommendations and universal was the name Chocolate Tree. I had heard legendary stories about the ‘best ever’ hot chocolate and ‘giant churros’ and, fuelled by greed, made my way to where the shop was meant to be. We looked, but it wasn’t there, only discovering later that it had sold up and moved out East Lothian way and there was no Chocolate Tree shop front any more. A really good hot chocolate I could easily replicate at home, but I felt bitterly cheated by the lack of giant churros.
Back home in England, I decided to order some Chocolate Tree merchandise. They do a great array of chocolate, from bars and boxes to spreads to dip-your-hand-in packets of chocolate-covered nuts and things, plus the aforementioned hot chocolate.
I decided on a nut theme, selecting milk chocolate-covered almonds (£7.95, 200g), which were excellent and have become a daily staple, but had the almonds been blanched first they would have been even more excellent. I chose a dark chocolate coffee and hazelnut bar (£3.95, 100g), which ended up being my favourite – a lovely mix of what’s a quite unusual flavour combo with added cocoa nibs for crunch. The dairy-free gianduja (£5.95, 80g) was glorious, too. Just four ingredients, but the hazelnuts made it so creamy I had to constantly recheck the label for milk.
I wish I’d been braver and gone for the haggis or winter-spice bars; chocolate covered corn crunchies also looked good. Next time.